Allen Kennedy, a 30-year-old officer at the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland), tried to buy a handgun, ammunition and a silencer from the dark net, according to court documents.
The PSNI officer was arrested during a sting operation in Belfast on September 5. He was arrested at Annadale Embankment in the southern part of the city after handing over £500 to receive a package. In his car, investigators found cocaine hidden inside drinks tins and WD-40 oil sprays. Court heard the man was involved in a drug dealing operation.
The 30-year-old claimed he tried to purchase the handgun to commit suicide, however, detectives rejected his claims. The question stands: if Kennedy really wanted to commit suicide, why did he bought a silencer too? He is currently in detention at Strandtown Police Station in East Belfast. Bail was refused since investigators fear he may run or re-offend.
Kennedy is charged with the attempted possession of a handgun, 10 rounds of ammunition and a silencer in suspicious circumstances and with intent to endanger life. The 30-year-old, who is currently suspended from duties, is also accused of possessing bullets and a shotgun cartridge. With cocaine found in his vehicle, the PSNI officer faces further allegations of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and simple possession of cannabis.
According to a detective constable, Kennedy had used the dark net to buy a Russian pistol, silencer, and ammunition. Bags mostly used for drug dealing were seized by police. Investigators found messages on the phones, which gave authorities the presumption Kennedy was dealing with narcotics. Two of the 30-year-old’s properties were raided as part of the investigation.
In Kennedy’s bedroom, law enforcement authorities seized ecstasy pills and cannabis, drug-related paraphernalia, price lists, ammunition and documents linked to the use of the dark net, the court heard. Police also took mobile phones and laptops for further investigation.
“The attempt to acquire a silencer would indicate someone planning to use the pistol,” a detective told court opposing bail, claiming Kennedy’s efforts to obtain a gun had been for criminal purposes. “With his ability on the dark net, he would be able to purchase a passport quite easily.”
However, Adrian Harvey from defense insisted on the bail.
“He indicated throughout the interview that he was attempting to purchase this weapon to commit suicide,” the lawyer said. “He’s still a member of the PSNI without having been subject to disciplinary proceedings which are inevitable due to his arrest.”
The lawyer added that since his client was remanded in custody, Kennedy is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The court heard the PSNI officer is a cocaine addict who admitted using the dark web to buy substances rather than put himself at risk by approaching a dealer on the streets.
“His arrest would be described as a sting operation. The person he was contacting on the dark web was a police officer, and the person he met to purchase the firearm was an undercover officer,” Harvey added.
However, the judge refused bail and said that Kennedy is in a “close involvement in an area of technology most of us have no understanding of – this so-called dark net where I’m told it’s easy to disappear with the benefit of false identification”.
He remanded the accused in custody to appear again by video-link in four weeks.
There was a similar case in Charleroi in October where a GSA officer tried to buy weapons and explosives from the dark net. However, in that case, the 35-year-old Thomas V. tried to buy the firearms to allegedly murder the boyfriends of his two ex-girlfriends.